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IN SHORT: nnn. [Rated R for strong frontier combat and violence including gory images, a sexual assault, language and brief nudity.156 minutes]
[[Inspired by true events, THE REVENANT is an epic story of survival and transformation on the American frontier. While on an expedition into the uncharted wilderness, legendary explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is brutally mauled by a bear, then abandoned by members of his own hunting team. Alone and near death, Glass refuses to succumb. Driven by sheer will and his love for his Native American wife and son, he undertakes a 200-mile odyssey through the vast and untamed West on the trail of the man who betrayed him: John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). What begins as a relentless quest for revenge becomes a heroic saga against all odds towards home and redemption.
RUN TIME: 156 minutes RATING: R
Based on true events that we've never heard of, The Revenant tells a story of the earliest explorers of the new American territory. Circa 1820, make a left out of any large city and any band of hunters, which is where this story begins, gets to face off against those unruly native americans who don't have the sense to get the heck out of the way. Explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) doesn't have injun problems, no, he has other things to deal with, including a son tor raise and a fellow hunter, John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), who seems none too trustworthy. Fitzgerald steals from his band of brothers and then buries one of 'em alive [because he was going to die anyway. . . ] Well, you can guess who that not-quite-dead hunter is and that means revenge drives the back end of the story of The Revenant -- get a dictionary. There is nothing in the screenplay that clued us in on whatever the title is supposed to mean. Nor have we read the book, as we've already written more times than we can count, "You Shouldn't Have to Read the Book to Understand the Movie." You won't have to worry about any kind of confusion. We've left out as much as we can, since this story is more man against nature -- well, simple revenge has been done to death.
Readers who understand the concept of context can glean what is coming next. We're going to tell you anyway -- man against nature leaves a screenwriter with only two options. One is that the man goes nuts and screams vengeance against Mother Nature. The second is that he just Gets On With It and battles his way through, wordlessly, on a sure path to Oscar nomination.
That, iof course, assumes the actor can do a good enough job to keep an audience's attention riveted to the screen, and not just because he's so pretty the femmes swoon because mann vs. nature isn't pretty. No, the story has enough of that "revenge drives the back end of the story" to, well (we love quoting our self), drive the back end of the story. We don't need to point out that Mother Nature doesn't take revenge because "she" is a fabrication of human story-tellers; Humans like to take revenge dontcha know. If that isn't enough of a hint, heck, the cinematography alone is enough to keep your eyes fixed on the big screen.
Cranky, being a straight male, can report that what little story there is, coupled with all the Wilderness in Winter Danger stuff is more than enough to make the two and a half hours pass in a flash. That alone means major props to both co-writer/ director Alejandro G. Iñárritu and stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy
On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to The Revenant, he would have paid . . .
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